IV had some awful & some brilliant experiences with Gp's - I want to share some of these experiences with you & debate some of the issues raised in the news today about complaints about Gp's rising in the last year.
I moved to the place I live now 13yrs ago & registered with the local GP. I wasn't ill at this point so all was well & I found the GP was ok - although rarely saw him.
I became pregnant & had a horrific pregnancy leading to my youngest Ethan being born 2mths prem by emergency c-section (which is beleived to have accelerated my fibro).
Slowly I began to feel more & more ill, I had pain so bad in my right hand it felt crushed, the fatigue was keeping me bed bound for days. I had chronic IBS and to top it off was suffering from depression.
Again & again I went back to the GP again & again he didn't seem interested in what I was telling him. On one particular visit he lost his temper with me & shouted at me that I was causing my own *emotionally induced pain* it was in my head & that if I stopped being upset all the time -'d feel better.
My initial reaction as I'd been poorly for 2yrs by this time was to jump across his desk & smash his face in but I didn't I left in tears like nearly every other visit had ended.
I was in my 1st of my counselling diploma at the time & shared with my peers what had happened, I talked things through with my peers & decided it would be appropriate for me to tell the GP I was not happy with the way he had treated me, also how it had made me feel.
Feeling emotionally supported by my peers I went to see the GP again, this time though I took my husband with me as I didn't feel strong enough to go alone. I sat in front of the Gp's HUGE desk shaking & breathing off the hot prickly tears trying to escape down my face.
With my voice shaking I mustered the courage to say " I am angry at the way you spoke to me at my last appointment " what looked like rage to me spread across the Gp's face, he then roared at me " you have NO right to be angry with me " to which I retorted " are you saying I'm not allowed to have feelings " his response was to tell me "I no longer wish to be your GP I want you to leave now ".
A few days later I received a letter saying that I, my husband & 3 children had all been struck off ! I was more angry than I'd ever been.
I signed on with a new GP in the same building but with a different practice. My new GP was lovely he listened to me & importantly didn't tell me my pain was in my head, although he didn't know what was wrong so sent me to see a rhuematologist.
The rhuematologist did blood tests for arthritis, all my results came back negative. He told me it was most definately arthritis & sent me for physiotherapy. The pain caused by the physio was excruciating.
One day my mom called to tell me she'd been diagnosed with something called Fibromyalgia & would I like to see a consultant that specialised in the illness. At breaking point I agreed.
My parents paid for me to have a private appointment, I took with me AA book filled with symptoms, time I'd been ill for, everything I could think of. He asked me to go for a walk while he read it all.
When I walked back into the room he said " from reading this I am nearly 100% sure you have fibromyalgia, there is one test I need to do " that's when he tried pressing the fibromyalgia tender spots to which I had 17 out of the 20.
Almost immediately I felt releif ( I was unaware of the fight I was about to get into to get correct treatment) although left his offices with sleepong tablets to which he had said " you can take these for the rest of your life or until there is a cure for fibro, as your body will grow accustomed to them & eventually they won't make you sleep but will help with other symptoms ".
My GP was brilliant with me when I told him about my fibromyalgia diagnoses (I also immediately quit seeing the arthritis doc n stopped pysio) my GP sent me to a different pysio who was way more gentle with me meaning it didn't hurt as much doing the exercise.
BUT that was the beginning & end of my treatment for about a year, until that is all of a sudden the pain began to spread throughout my whole body. GP put me on amytriptylene for the pain. Unbeknown to me at that time me & amytriptylene do NOT mix well.
Unaware of other drugs available, my rights or anything else for that matter I bumbled along for another 2yrs until again a bad flare had led to a severe depression leading to me nearly having a breakdown.
I had joined Twitter in 200c but didn't really get it, being bed bound & feeling like I'd lost my mind my mobile phone became my only connection to other people so in early 2011 I began tweeting. I soon became aware of people called #Spoonies.
Spoonies being a person with a chronic invisable illness - the term had been coined from a writing by @bydls called 'The Spoon Theory' (this can be found on another page of this blog). I began to connect with these people & soon found the support I had wanted so much.
I learnt much about other drug treatments, the names of all the individual symptoms that made up fibromyalgia & with this new found knowledge I approached my GP. At first I asked for venlafaxine which he gave me, although the chronic pain persisted.
Slowly over time I asked for new drug treatments by name :) I am now on
Dihydracodeine 90mg slow release 3x a day
Gabapentin 600mg 3x a day
Venlafaxine 37.5mg 2x a day
Naproxin 500mg 2x a day
Zolpidem 10mg 1x a day
Levothyroxine 100Mc 1x a day
I also take vitamins B12 & rosehip with consent of my GP as although we think vitamins are good for us they can cause adverse affects if mixed with long term medication.
Ie: if taking Levothyroxine you shouldn't take sea kelp.
What I have learned is that even with a good GP I have to take the lead & tell him what I need. Learning the names of the serperate symptoms really helped to (I have a blog:
call it by its name).
I do look back at times & wish I'd made a complaint about the GP who struck me off as I have since learned he is like that with most of his patients ! He likes to be #right he doctor you stupid ignorant patient ! Although I had the strength to tell him how I felt at the time, I was to vulnerable to take it any further & also very much unaware of my rights as a patiemt.
So they say now complaints are rising because people find it easier to complain ! I don't agree because there will be thousands of vulnerable people being treated badly & not complaining.
If we all complained they would see a ten fold increase in what they are already seeing ! Eventually I got lucky, I got a GP that listened & allowed me to tell him what I needed. He was willing to try some of the drugs I suggested. If he didn't wan't to give me a certain drug he explained why. By meeting eachother half way we have built a wonderful doctor-patient relationship.
I know my doctor-patient relationship is rare in comparison to what other people go through. Doctor's are less inclined to listen, less compassionate, less empathic & some come across as authoritarian control freaks - things must change in the Uk when it comes to General Practitioners !
The link below is the news that's hit the headlines today about the soaring complaints against doctors ! If only the other 1000's would speak up to like I wish I had 11yrs ago xx G